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Reply to "Drama, Puppet, Storytelling Workshop Lessons and Ideas for David and Goliath"


David & Goliath

Storytelling Workshop (called "The Good News Workshop")


Summary of Lesson Activity:

Students are first introduced to the concept of what is on the outside is not always as important as what is on the inside: Arbitrarily select a student to choose one of three possible gift boxes - one of which is decorated lavishly yet contains "clean" trash, another of which is decorated moderately yet contains paper clips, and a third which is shabbily decorated yet contains candy! Students will then actively take part in a retelling of the story of David and Goliath.


Scripture Reference:

I Samuel 17: 1-50


Other scriptures used in this rotation: Psalms 46:1, Psalms 118:8, Nahum 1:7


Key Verse:  Joshua 1:9 (CEV) "Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go."


Rotation Concepts:

  • Rely on God because God is more powerful than anything you will face in this world.
  • God works in ways we do not except and through people we do not expect. 
  • We should not seek success: we should seek to serve the Lord. 


Workshop Objectives — After completing this Rotation, participants will be able to:

  • Leave with a better understanding of how our faith can strengthen us when we believe and trust the Lord. 
  • Have a clear picture of what the meaning of the scripture in I Samuel is telling us about how David served the Lord and be able to relate the story to their own lives.
  • Learn that by reviewing the history of David’s people we will understand what he did for his family and for the Lord. 
  • Understand that what is on the inside is often more important than what is on the outside. 


Leader Preparation:


Read Bible Background and scripture.



 Supply List

  • The three “gifts” wrapped with the specific contents noted below.
  • Smooth stones/rocks, and pennies (one per student of one or the other)
  • Any props you deem necessary to make the story come to life for them (sling shot, wool of a sheep to pass around, a shield, or some sort of armor).


Advanced Preparation Requirements:


Wrap three “gifts” in the following manner, having the contents be similar to the following suggestions: 

  • A large shoe box wrapped so that the lid lifts easily off without disturbing the wrapping. (So that the box can be used in subsequent weeks of the Rotation.) Wrap this box in beautiful paper and make it very tempting looking: Pretty ribbons/bow, very colorful paper; looks like a “million” dollars! The contents of the beautifully wrapped box are broken sticks, some dirt, candy wrappers, “clean trash,” etc. 
  • The second gift is pretty (but not too pretty) bag, of average size. The contents should be cotton balls, rubber bands, paper clips, grass or leaves. 
  • The third gift is a brown paper lunch bag that is very crumpled and looks old. Inside of the bag have a treat like gummy bears, life savers, jelly beans – enough for the class to eat!





Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction


1. Greet the children and introduce yourself.

2. As the children come in give each child either a smooth stone or a penny. Tell them you will explain the use of the items later. 



Explain the purpose of this workshop:
As we continue to study the life of David we want to discover how one’s faith in God can help make one stronger in times of trouble. Today we are going to find out how David was able to help his people and the nation of Israel by defeating the Philistines. You will find that David was not afraid and that he used his skills of a Shepherd boy along with his faith to conquer what the army of Israel was afraid to do. 


Scripture/Bible Story:

1. Ask the children say the memory verse. (Display the verse on poster board.)
2. Ask them to bow their heads for prayer.
3. Tell the story. You can read the story from a children’s Bible storybook. Older grades: With grades 4 and 5, give out slips of paper with the following Bible references. Ask the other children to follow along. Calling on students to read is a way to get them to interact in this class. 

I Samuel 17:1-50: key verses. Ask for volunteers to read the following:

I Samuel 17: 4-7, I Samuel 17: 8 and 11, I Samuel 17:13- 16, I Samuel 17:37, I Samuel 17:47, and these scriptures: Psalms 46:1, Psalms 118:8, and Nahum 1:7.

4. Provide an opportunity for questions, in case the scriptures are not understood. If you find that there are words or phrases that might need to be clarified for the various age groups, please do so. You will provide more detail in the retelling of the story.



The Lesson Activity:

After the scripture lesson conduct this activity:

Pull out of your bag or box the following three “Presents” and place them in front of you.


Inform the students that one of them is lucky today. The student with the (black rock, rock with a colored dot, the penny that is shinny, who has the birthday closest to today, etc) whatever method you decide to use to select one child, comes forward and picks a gift. They are not to pick up or touch the presents to check them out; they are to point to the one they want to open.


At their selection, hand the gift to the child to open. Before he/she opens the “gift” you explain that they will have to share with the rest of the class the contents of the gift. 



Activity Explanation:
More than likely the child will select the big box wrapped up so nicely! The contents are to show us that what we see is not always what we get. What is on the outside is not always as important as what is on the inside. Show them what was in gift in the brown paper bag that was ugly and not chosen. OR if the ugly brown bag was selected, ask why, over the other "pretty" gifts?


Our faith in the Lord is something we carry in our hearts. People can not always see what we believe, as you will find out in our story today about David and Goliath. 

The story and the review:
The retelling of the scripture is found at the end of this lesson plan. You should ADD PROPS to EACH PART OF THE STORY AS YOU TELL IT. These props should VISUALLY REPRESENT that part of the story or its meaning.  


For example:  for the word "strong" you might pull out a chain and tug on it before laying it on the floor in front of you. Place each item in order as you tell the story, then at the end of the story, MIX THEM UP and invite the class to put them back in teh right story order.  Let them know ahead of time that they should try to remember the items/order.


Explain to the children that when you speak the word David, the children with the stones should quietly place their right hand over their heart and everyone should continue to listen.


When you say the word “Goliath” and the military might – the children with the penny are raise both hands as high as they can without making any noise and continue to listen. Practice a dry run prior to retelling the story. 

After the story there will be a few questions. Some of the questions are basic review questions, while others will be ones to make the story relevant to their life today. 


See the story script below.

Reflection Time:
Ask the shepherds to pass out the journal sheet and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste on their journal page as a reminder of the story or activity, if you are taking up the pennies and stones. 


Prayer:  Pass out all the objects from your story and invite students to come up with a prayer of thanksgiving about each. Then during your prayer time, have them walk forward and place the item on the table and speak their prayer out loud.


Bible Study led by Lori Houck the Kirk of Kildare, Brueggemann’s First and Second Samuel Interpretation. 
CEV Bible
Storytelling, Kids, and Christian Education, Arlene Flancher 
Ideas from Farthing’s teaching days

David and Goliath – The story script for retelling.

Our story today comes from the Old Testament, the Book of I Samuel chapter 17.
Israel was a nation trying to grow and prosper and at the same time defend land that they believed belonged to them. The battles took place in deserts, valleys and the mountains. 
The Israelites in this story have made camp on a hill over looking Elah Valley and on the other side of the river valley the Philistines have set up their camp. The Philistines are a tribe of people that are known for their height. 

The leader of the Israel Army is Saul. Saul has not been a good leader for this army because they have not yet been able to defeat the Philistines. Saul is waiting for someone to step up and help him make a decision. The Israel Army is filled with soldiers that are afraid of the Philistines due to their military might and height. 
One of the main leaders of the Philistine army is a man named Goliath. (The ones with pennies should raise their fists) Goliath is very tall. In one book we are told he is over 9 feet, and in other books we are told he is over 7 feet. For this time in history, anyone over 6 feet is considered tall!


Goliath is a brave solider who has bronze armor to cover his head, chest, and legs that weigh over 125 pounds! (Imagine you carrying not only your own book bag but that of 15 of your friends) He has a bronze sword and a spear that weigh up to 15 pounds. He has a soldier that walks in front of him with his shield that is also bronze and very heavy. 


Goliath got tired of waiting for the Israel army to fight. So he goes down to the river bed and shouts loudly a challenge. He yells that he is the best soldier of the Philistine army and that the best solider of the Israel army should come over and fight him. The man who loses this battle promises his people will become slaves to the other side. 


This challenge frightens the army of Israel and no one knows what to do. They have no one who can defeat Goliath. They do not reply. 

There was a man by the name of Jesse (who if we had time to draw a family tree – we would see that Jesus was related to this man.) Jesse had 8 sons. He was an old man who lived in Bethlehem. Three of his sons had gone off to fight in this war for Israel. While they were away fighting for Israel the youngest son, David was given the responsibility to watch over the flocks of sheep, since his Dad was too old to watch the sheep. (Students with pennies should now place their hand over their heart.)


David was strong. He was not afraid to be out watching the sheep alone. He did however want to be with his brothers and fight in the war. He asked his Dad if he could go and join his three brothers. Jesse told him he was too young and he had responsibilities here. David understood and did not ask his father again about going to fight. 

Meanwhile the two armies are still camped out and no fighting has occurred. Goliath comes out each day and issues his challenge about the best solider coming over to fight him. He does this for 40 days! 

Jesse gets a message that the soldiers need food and that they are running low on supplies. He tells David to go and take food to his brothers. The journey to the military camp is over 15 miles. David gets up early the next morning and begins his journey to take supplies to his brothers. Remember he is not afraid to walk alone, because he believes the Lord will protect him. He also has fought lions and bears when they threatened the sheep. 

David arrives at the military camp just about the time that Goliath is yelling about the best solider needs to come over and fight him. Goliath yells that the Israel Army is full of cowards, and they know he is a better solider and will beat whom ever they send down to fight him. 

David searches for his brothers and asks how they are doing. They give David a hard time and tell him he should not be here, he is too young and may get hurt. He should be home watching the little sheep. They do not like the fact that he might be in danger. David explains that he is here to bring food as their father told him to do. David also asks questions about the tall man yelling at the army. 


His brothers tell him it is none of his business and that he should run back home now and tell their father they appreciate the food. 

David does not follow the directions of his brothers as he does his father. He continues to walk around and ask other soldiers what is going on with this large man. David gets angry because he takes Goliath’s threats as a threat to not only Israel but to their God! The soldiers tell David that King Saul has promised that who ever kills Goliath will receive a large sum of money, get to marry the king’s daughter and his people will not have to pay taxes to King Saul. 

David asks his brothers another question. He wants to know where he can find King Saul, because he wants to let him know that he will kill Goliath, he is not afraid and is really up set at how the Israel army is acting so cowardly. David’s brothers give him a hard time and tell him he should go home and stop asking questions. 

David walks away from his brothers and several other soldiers show him where King Saul’s tent is. When David meets King Saul he calls him your Majesty. He shares his view of how he can kill Goliath and is very angry that no one has tried yet because he is insulting not only King Saul, the army, Israel but their God. 


King Saul, at first talks down to David, calling him a young boy who would be killed instantly by this Giant Goliath. 


David tells King Saul that he is not afraid. The Lord has protected me from lions and bears as I have watched over our sheep. I am strong! I have killed lions and bears with only my hands. I have faith that the Lord will help me with this evil person. 


Saul finally agrees and tells David he hopes the Lord will be with him, but just in case – please take my sword and armor to help protect you. 

David did as Saul instructed, but David could not walk around in the heavy armor. The sword was too long and he had trouble keeping his balance. 

David said, this is too much I cannot even move in this stuff! So he took it off and went down to the river and found five smooth river stones and placed them in his leather pouch on his waist to use with his slingshot. 

With the sling and stones ready, David walked toward Goliath. Goliath began walking toward him, but he made sure the soldier with his shield was in front of him. When Goliath saw that it was just a boy coming toward him, he laughed and made fun of David. 

Do you think I am a dog, yelled Goliath? You come toward me with a stick? 
David yelled back that he was not afraid of him with all of his armor, and sword. That he came to fight him in the name of the Lord who would protect him. 

Goliath laughed and began to run toward David. 

David ran toward Goliath and pulled out a stone and placed it in his slingshot. He slung the stone and hit Goliath on his forehead where there was not armor to protect him. He cracked his skull and Goliath fell down and died. David ran over and took Goliath’s sword and cut off his head and showed it to the armies that were watching the fight! 

The Philistines were the ones who were now afraid and they began to run away. The army of Israel followed them. 

David became a hero! He had used his strength and his faith to conquer the evil man. 

Questions for review and reflection


Younger classes –
1. Who did David trust more than anything? (Lord)
2. What weapons did David use to kill Goliath? (faith, stone and strength)
3. What was David’s job while his brothers were off fighting? (Shepard) 
4. With all of the armor and shield, why was David able to kill Goliath for the Israel army? (David used what was on the inside, his strength and faith in God. He was not afraid because he knew God would protect him as he had done when he fought the wild animals.)

5. Is it hard or easy to be a follower of Jesus? What can make it hard?

6. What makes a Christian strong?  Muscles? or Prayer?  A Big Mouth? or Kind Words?

Older classes –
1. What represented the outside world when King Saul tried to help David prepare to fight Goliath? (The extra armor and sword of the regular military – but it was too heavy and did not fit him.)
2. What made David mad when he reached the military camp where his brothers were? (That no one seemed insulted by Goliath’s challenge. That the army had become cowards and that the king was not leading them.)
3. How did David handle his fear? 

4. What is the scariest thing facing students at school everyday?  How would David handle those giants?

5. What do you think are the scary things in life when you get older?  How will you prepare yourself to defeat those giants?

For all – Who is your hero today? Why this person? What makes them strong? 



A lesson written by Catherine and her team from:
Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church
Cary, NC, USA

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